The comparisons to Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham have been taking place—whether for better or worse—for Devon Dotson since last season. It happened again on Saturday thanks to Chris Beard.
Chris Beard said watching Devon Dotson gave him flashbacks today: "Is that Graham out there? is that Mason? Oh no, that's Dotson." #kubball— Scott Chasen (@ChasenScott) February 1, 2020
More quotes: https://t.co/GjJxHUCwdI
Dotson isn’t Mason or Graham (yet—though leading a long postseason run would bring out even more comparisons) in terms of the admiration of Kansas fans or on-court achievements, but from an offensive and statistical standpoint, Dotson as a sophomore is creeping into senior Mason/Graham territory.
Here’s how Dotson’s current stats stack up against Mason and Graham’s consensus All-American seasons.
Dotson, 2019-20: 18.2 ppg, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists
Mason, 2016-17: 20.9 ppg, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists
Graham 2017-18: 17.3 ppg, 4.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists
The key leading this performance by Dotson is consistency. Dotson’s presence is felt game in and game out, without ever having to wonder if he’s going to show up that game. That’s a quality also felt when Mason and Graham were on the floor.
Dotson has played in 20 games so far this season (remember, he sat out the Oklahoma game with a hip injury), and only failed to score in double digits in one (he had nine against Baylor—and it is also the only game where he has failed to get to the free-throw line).
To take it a step further, Dotson has scored at least 15 points in 16 of his 20 games this year, which is putting him in good company of fellow Jayhawk guards over the past decade. It’s also one of the reasons Dotson is currently third in KenPom’s player of the year rankings.
Kansas has 10 regular season games remaining and one would expect at least five postseason games between the conference and NCAA tournaments if the season is to be deemed a success. So while it’s unlikely Dotson can catch Mason in this regard, second place of 25 games is still very much in play.
Udoka Azubuike is the most difficult player to defend against in the Big 12. But as Dotson proved against Texas Tech on Saturday, he’s in the conversation. His ability to drive to the basket is a major headache to stop in its own right, and Dotson has used it to make play after play when KU needed it most.
No one knows how the rest of the season will turn out for the Jayhawks, but there’s a good chance it involves Dotson with a double-digit point total next to his name.